Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Final Round

Here's a peak into my journals for those of you wondering what I have been up to.

April 17, 2017

On a whim I decided maybe it was time to try for embryo baby #3 -- or actually, technically, #6. 

Who does that? 

Makes a major life decision like the possibility of having three babies two years and under -- without days, weeks, or months of thought and preparation?

Add to it the part about having to be pregnant. (Man that was hard!)

Why didn't anyone tell my I was this big?!
Oh yeah, and then there is the whole IVF part: 
The shots. 
The pills. 
The frequent appointments. 
And most of all, the chance for major and in this case FINAL disappointment --because if this works it will in all likelihood be my last pregnancy and my last baby; and if it doesn't work, well...yeah. It WOULD have in all likelihood been my last pregnancy. 

I guess that is why I didn't want to think about it much and to take the plunge thoughtlessly. (And now my mind is making IVF needle puns about syringes with plungers...)

So without much mental energy or emotion really, I called the IVF clinic last week to matter-of-factly find out what the protocol would be for a FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). I figured it would be a bunch of appointments and weeks or months before they would be ready. Nope. We could get started right away and why not in just a few weeks? "Start by going off your birth control pill today."

Before I knew it, I was getting my first of many upcoming needle sticks with a blood draw for my thyroid levels. 

Nurse: "We need to get your blood drawn? When can you come?" 
Me: "How about now I guess?"

Things are already different this round as my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was normal this time, which means one less hormone to add into the mix than I had last round. And so far, no news of starting any metformin, a medication usually taken to regulate diabetes. 

And then last night I started 2 mg of Estradiol (an estrogen hormone to help support the uterine lining for pregnancy) and again this morning. I was careful to set my alarm for morning and night so I wouldn't forget any of these important doses.

And then I came into my room and plopped onto the bed as it started to hit me what I had just done. Abe hugged me and we prayed, as I realized the seriousness of this newfound plan. Round 6. I have done this so. many. times before. I should be an old pro. This should be old hat. I can't help but wonder if that will make it easier? Or if it will make it harder? 

I felt the dread after swallowing the small blue pills. I wish I could remember with accuracy what these hormones were about to do to my body. To my mood. To my weight. I am amazed by what I can't remember after spending almost a year constantly putting myself through this regimen before Mister and Sister's arrival. And also what I remember is slowly flooding back -- the pain and the disappointment and the dread and most of all the waiting. 

Amazingly I didn't cry. But I questioned if I was strong enough and brave enough to do this all again. 

This time feels different. This time there is an endpoint in the near future. Before, I had the hope of six embryos securely in the freezer and a large family coming from them. Now I know how hard it was to get the two blessings I have. I know that the odds are more likely than not that I will not get pregnant -- it took 5 embryos to get where I am now, why will one lone survivor suddenly stick this time? It doesn't seem like the way to start the "trying" process -- without much hope.

Mister and Sister's first baby picture
So we will see what happens. Despite it all, I have hope there is a little brother or sister there waiting to join us. I also have the joy of knowing we already have an amazing family. 

There is some relief in the finality even though it is also scary. Some of the worst parts of the whole process before was wondering and having to ask God, "How much do I have to do this before I give up? Before I know it won't work?" This time I know we have one more shot. (Again with the puns, actually 2-12 weeks of shots... but one chance at a pregnancy.)

I am anxious to finally know if I can give away my baby gear. I am also terrified to think I may have to. 

So here's to my Hail Mary. Crossing my fingers it will work. And if it doesn't, that I will be okay with God's answer. 


Jason and Whitney Bell said...

Holy cow, Erin! This is such big news! I'm happy and nervous for you all at the same time. I'm also glad to know. You are amazing! Having heard your talk last Sunday (or most of it), I think that you are definitely strong enough. Not to mention all that you have already been through.

Erin said...

Ah Whitney, thank you!